Tag Archives: #bloggers

Were you BORN to blog: Part 5

Hey there! I don’t have much time today so I am actually multi-tasking! Reading my chapters and creating this post. I have to be completely honest…I am actually going to be skipping over a few chapters of Born to Blog. I was reading over the weekend and something suddenly wasn’t clicking. As I was reading I had no idea how I wanted to write about it…

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It’s funny because the next two chapters from where I left off last week are about YOUR business & BLOGGING. Hmmm kinda does seem like a priority don’t ya think? Sometimes you just nees to step back, take a different direction, & learn to NOT overcomplicate things. Funny thing is that is what the next chapter of Born to Blog is about: Keeping your blog at a minimum! I loved this chapter so much.
It is not unusual to want every detail laid out for perfection BUT keep in mind it is also okay to change your direction. As long as you stay consistent (which I am working on being better at) & hook your readers you can keep it as simple as possible!

Let me give you a little personal and honest insight: My blog is pretty bare and basic at this point. Why have I kept it this way? I feel as though I am still going through a “test run” period if that makes sense. I wanna make sure this is where I want my time and effort to be going. I know that sounds like I lack confidence but before I put MORE time and any money I want to be able to keep up with my weekly minimum. And I am having a blast because I have learned SO much from all of the new friends I have made from the blogging scene. But before I slowed sown a bit and created my own post calendar I did some rapid publishing, which I highly recommend. What I mean by this is posting as many posts as possible during a short amount of time to gain quick experience & exposure. This way right from the beginning you can receive feedback from readers so you can have a good idea of what they like and want to see more of! I did this through the Alex Beadon Feel Good Challenge!

This is pretty much the jist of this chapter. Feel out what kind of content you wanna produce, how much content you wanna produce, your audience, your platform, etc. Identify YOUR blogging skills: Remember there were 5! There is a quiz to find out what you are. (I will leave details on how to receive that below) As you start out you want to begin to build momemtum! How can you so this? Do not be afraid to post links back to your blog on Facebook or Instagram: I do all the time! Your audience is more then the bloggers on the same platform as you. Some of your readers may not be bloggers at all! My Mom told me she is always reading my content 🙂

So my biggest and best advice I have learned through both business and blogging is: KISS!

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P.S. If you are interested in taking a look at the quiz to see what YOUR blogging characteristics may be feel free to email me (brookeashley0319@gmail.com) OR message me on Facebook (Brooke Ducati)

Much love,
Brooke Ashley xoxox

Did that Pinterest board just come to life? Week 3!

Well hello bloggers & readers! Welcome to an early edition of Thrifty Thursday! Why a day early you ask? Well I am headed up North this weekend (tomorrow!) & I was planning on bringing my new outfit with me! Sooooo I figured I would share today…PLUS I will barely have any service so better I do this today!

*** Please don’t mind any silly placement for I am doing this on my phone because my computer was acting up***

If you are just joining me be sure to search under category “Thrifty Thursday” to see both of the past looks I have created! Both from Pinterest & last weeks being my Halloween costume! Also, remember I am creating these outfits in $20 or LESS!

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This week I spent $13! Keep in mind I already had the boots, leggings, & scarf! Spool I bought my sweater from Plato’s closet for $12 AND git an awesome deal for this adorable wristlet & bracelets for a total of $1 😉 What a great shopping adventure it was! Of course ONCE AGAIN…after taking pictures I realized I missed a minor detail…the sunglasses. Luckily I already had a pair of those too!

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I had the HARDEST time finding a floral wrestler in my budget. I thought this one was adorable! It's my new makeup purse 🙂

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Keeping it short and sweet this week because I gotta get packing! See you all Monday! Enjoy your week & weekend!

P.S. Which outfit should I put together for next week?! Leave your choice below!

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Much love,
Brooke Ashley xoxox

Were you BORN to blog: Part 2


If you can dream… —> Then you can blog.

If you can tell a story… —> Then you can blog.

If you have opinions & passion… —> Then you can blog.

If you can answer your readers questions… —> Then you can blog.

(Were almost there!)

If you enjoy categorizing, critiquing, creating & managing…guess what? —> Your ready to blog!


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Well here we in week 2 of my first book series. Just to refresh I have started to read the book: Born to Blog by Mark Schaefer & Standford Smith. I received tons of great feedback from last week & it made me very anxious to share what I have read over the past few days! This week I read chapters 3 & 4. Now remember I am not going to share everything that was discussed and written (that is for YOU to do on your own time!) I will be sharing what I thought was most important or what MY biggest take away was. So what was it?

If you couldn’t already tell from above, this week was all about “Can you blog?” Well there is a simple…YES anyone can blog! That’s it. Post over.

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Kidding your not getting away that easy. There is a good chance you are sitting here right now and still have no idea what your purpose is OR if this whole blogging thing is even for you. Well let me tell ya something, ANYONE is capable of having power on the web. Mark & Standford even used those exact words in chapter 3.

Anyone can produce posts & be a blogger. Whether we are good at it or not every single one of us  have the capability to create writing material. BUT the number one thing that sets you apart (or at least in my opinion) from everyone else is PERSONALITY. You need to find your voice. No matter what you are discussing (business, recipes, DIY projects, makeup, fashion, etc) you want other bloggers & readers admire what you are talking about so they will want to come back for more!


Who are you?

Who are you at this moment in time?

People wanna know YOU.

The web is crowded and YOU need to stand out.

Can you do that?


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When writing your next post DO THIS simple task. Always, always, always relate whatever it is your discussing to a personal or unique experience. It can be difficult but adding a personal touch sets you apart from the other person who may be writing about the same exact thing. Someone may connect with you over the John Doe. make sense?

P.S. If you couldn’t already tell PERSONALITY means everything to me and my writing! 🙂

P.S.S. Please keep your book recommendations coming! See ya next Tuesday! 

Much love,

Brooke Ashley xoxox

Were you BORN to BLOG: Part 1

Happy Tuesday bloggers! I am super excited for this next segment that I will be starting. A few Fridays ago I was looking for a new place to work so I went to the local Barnes and Noble. I looked around aimlessly and discovered an awesome book. I decided to take it to the Starbucks, grab a coffee, and dive in. Before I knew it I was more then halfway done the book and was overwhelmed with information! What was this book? It’s called “Born to Blog” by Mark W. Schaeffer & Standford A. Smith. Soooo needless to say it inspired me for this blog.

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I wanna take every Tuesday and work through the current book I am reading. And when I say that I don’t wanna cram one book per week, I want to actually take the time and break the book down and share the information with you all 🙂 (in so many words…I don’t wanna spoil ALL the juicy info…you can read it for yourself) PLUS, this will help keep me accountable to stay on top of reading & feeding my brain! So here we go let’s dive into the Intro:

What I pulled away with here is that people think blogging is an all or nothing kinda thing, your either good or your bad, you can either write OR you can’t. This is soooo not true, because I myself am certainly not a writer, but hey here I am! The purpose of this book (the authors purpose) is to prove that ANYONE can be a blogger with a little coaching and tweaking of their skills, Mark and Stanford then share 5 traits/skills/characteristics that will help you along your journey! I will share my personal favorite one. ( and you will have to read for yourself to find out the other four)

Relate, Don’t Compare.

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WOW this is so important. We are not here to compete, we are not here to put down one another, we are certainly not here to see who gets more hits, comments, & likes. WE are here to share our strengths and passion, learn from one another, create a network, & have fun. Stay focused on YOU, your story, & purpose.

Then quickly we move into chapter one titled: The Common Traits of Successful Bloggers. My 3 favorite traits I pulled away from this chapter were flexibility, consistency, & courage. After they touched on the actual trait there was a “Take Action” exercise to follow to really get your wheels turning. Let me share one with you so you can see 🙂

The 3rd trait that Mark and Stanford discuss is flexibility. They begin to discuss a man who had published a blog but he was getting ZERO readers, hits, comments…no traffic at all what so ever. Do any of you have this issue? I most certainly did! When I started my blog I did to say “Ooooo let me start a blog, that would be fun!” I had no idea what I was doing. But now I have direction and purpose. The flexibility is about being okay with letting you mind go in a different direction. Maybe you are writing and posting but you know you are capable of better BUT you already started on your way so you can’t change everything you doing now, right? OR can you? So I am going to challenge you right now…


Mark and Stanford ask you to evaluate yourself. After six/nine months of blogging ask yourself these 3 questions:

1. What did you have the most fun writing about? (How can you create MORE of this content)

2. Which of my posts received the MOST feedback and interaction?

3. Are you still having fun writing about these topics? YES, NO, Maybe?


I know I am going to do this for myself come March/ April. At this point I will be about 6 months in since I started blogging again. The authors then go into talking about courage. AND YES believe it or not blogging does require a little bit of courage. One of the hardest decisions we make as bloggers is whether to push the publish button…admit it. I will simply say this: DO NOT strive for perfection. If you do your hand will be stuck on that mouse for a very long time. Mark Schaeffer says, “focus on being GOOD instead of perfect.” It goes back to DON”T COMPARE…there will always be someone better.

So you don’t have to be perfect BUT do you have to be a great writer? Hmmmm. I guess you will have to come back next Tuesday to find out!

Much love,

Brooke Ashley xoxox

P.S. PLEASE begin leaving book suggestions below! They do not have to specifically be about blogging, they can be business, marketing, self-help, etc! I am open to anything 🙂

A goal without a plan is simply a wish.

Good morning peeps! Happy Monday! After some downtime and planning it’s time to get into full swing of blogging. Earlier last week I had posted a picture of Facebook of my crazy OCD-ness and got a ton of feedback on it & it inspired me to write this post. Today I am gonna touch on PLANNING. If you are going to take on blogging or really anything for that matter seriously and for a purpose you have to have a game plan. Now you don’t have to be as elaborate with details like I have been but you have to have something on paper before you start diving in. So let’s get into it.

Earlier last week I created a calendar planning what I wanted to share with you all.

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Now for starters you could create a blank calendar by hand (which is what I did) or simply buy one. You could get one at the dollar store or Walmart, don’t go crazy with $$$.Okay now that you have this blank calendar you need to fill it in with your ideas. This is where most of us are stumped. You wanna take this whole blogging thing seriously but don’t know where to start and your scared to plan in advance. Don’t tell me your not cause I used to be 😉 You just gotta do it. How?

First things first decide when your most creative time of day is. Is it first thing in the morning, afternoon, evening, or super late at night? For me it’s first thing in the morning. I will write my blog for the day in the morning and spend the day putting it out there and planning for the next. I always thought late afternoon was my prime time but then I always found myself falling asleep! (Whoops)

Next are you using your blog for business? Most of us are! Plan when you wanna talk about things in your business. But let me tell ya a little secret…You don’t wanna talk about your business 24/7, everyday, every post. People will GET BORED. You need to mix it up and play the 80/20 or 70/30 game. Here is a little glimpse into my notes. I know I am only going to discuss certain tidbits of my business a few times a month, especially right now when I just wanna network and get to know people & I want them to get to know me. I don’t expect anyone to want my services and products when they have no clue who the heck I am.

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Talk about you, what you like to do, passions, family, your life, etc etc. People wanna know about YOU! It’s the same if you are Instagram for example. You don’t wanna constantly be posting pictures of your products and services. You will come off as looking “spammy” and annoying. You wanna connect with others on a personal level before you offer them your product or service.

So now your probably saying to yourself “Well when I am not talking about my business then what do I write about?” Great question! USE YOUR RESOURCES! My biggest resource is Pinterest. Fellow pinners have created boards of topics you could flesh out. Examples:

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Go on Pinterest NOW. Start pinning all of these fabulous ideas. Create a board to keep them all together. My board is “Blog Inspiration.” Now don’t just pin them…read them! Pick and choose and fill in your days! Also, keep in mind that it okay to change things around. And what I mean is that you can fill in your calendar and then something great might come to mind so switch around your posts. I did this morning!

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Notice all my highlighter marks 😉

The more content you have the better!!! Honestly this is really it 🙂 Don’t over-think this, take a breath, and just brainstorm. Keep in mind that just because you write an idea down doesn’t mean you have to write on it either. You may take note of it but then not actually write about it for a year & that’s okay! Also, last tip I will give! DO NOT OVERWHELM YOURSELF. If you can only post once a week, then post once a week. My goal is 4 times a week! Whats your goal?

P.S. Please share what YOU do to plan! I know there are so many different ways, templates, post-it notes, etc!

Much love,

Brooke Ashley xoxox

Let me tell you about my best friend

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So with Valentines Day quickly approaching I wanted to dedicate my second blog to my best friend, partner in crime, other half, and love of my  life. I’m not one to celebrate how many months you have been with someone,  I count by the important milestones.  But when I started to write out this blog I realized that Aaron and I have been together 20 months today. I sound like  a giddy highschool girl but I figured I would throw it out there!

Now I’m no relationship guru but I would like to share some insight to my relationship and some of the things I have learned along the way. First and foremost your siginificant other has to be your best friend. Notice that was the first way I mentioned Aaron in the beginning and used it as my title?  I feel that a best friend makes you feel every emotion in the book. They make you laugh, smile, cry, bring you up, may hurt your feelings, raise your confidence, the list could go on.  But most importantly they are there for you no matter what.  I trust, love, and adore Aaron with my whole heart. Why do I say be with someone who makes you feel every emotion in he books? Well simply because you need to take the good with the bad.  People, girls especially set their standards too high and it leads to a lot of disappointment.   You need to realize right from the beginning that no relationship js 100% perfect.  I would say Aaron and I come pretty darn close but that only because we have grown so much to see and realize what the other person is about.

Your boyfriend or girlfriend should be a positive influence on your plans and someone who supports your goals and dreams.  Well let me tell you my goals and dreams and outlook on life changed dramatically when I met Aaron.  In a good way of course 🙂  As I mentioned in my earlier blog, I am an entrepreneur.  If you would have asked me 5 years ago what I wanted to do with myself thst word would have been foreign to me.  If it wasnt for Aaron I probably would have never chosen this path for my life.  This is me and Aaron’s second time at the relationshio run. (We joke that it was our trial run) Anyways we were out on our “second” first date and we were exchanging back and forth what we had both been up to during our time apart. He goes on to mention that he started his own business. I was scared and nervous for him and for us if it were to work out.  I had it drilled in my head that school and a 9-5 was the rest of my life.  Well was I wrong. I am so thankful and excited for our future and what lies ahead for us.

I said it before and I will say it again but Jesus is my rock.  Do you know how much people my age struggle with finding someone who is compatible at a spiritual and Godly level? Well let me say that I struck gold for that one. Finding someone who you can pray with when life gets hard or to thank for your blessings is the most uplifting feeling a person can have.  Aaron and I have been blessed so much as individuals and as a couple. The fact that we can share that experience with one another is amazing.

Do any girls out there believe in love at first sight? I never did until now. I first met Aaron while I was dating someone else, but have you ever just met someone and hit it off and you cant ignore it? Yeah thats possible. From the minute Aaron and I talked for the first time I knew something was different. I can still vividly remember our first kiss. His sister invited a bunch of friends over and he had asked me that when everyone left if I wanted to chill and watch a movie with him. Well duh! We sat and watched Ironman twice plus all credits before he made a move, I wont hold it against him 😉 To this day this boy still gives me butterflies. We have known each other since I was 16. When he comes to pick me up I get nervous as if it were our first date. Girls and or guys be with someone who constantly makes you feel like this.

I have never been a huge fan of Valentines Day because well I love Aaron all the other 364 days of the year, well mostly 😉 Well first things first don’t ever stoo loving that person all the other days, keep doing that its important. You should be telling that person you love them every single day. I know for Aaron, everytime he tells me be loves me in a text it is always ALWAYS capitilized. I asked him one time why he does that and he said to me, babe I do that because regardless of what I said before that or whatever my tone was I want it to stand out that I LOVE YOU.

So this Valentines Day maybe do something a little but more for your siginificant other. Remind them that you do love them every day of the year. Maybe make them their favorite food, take them to a place they have always wanted to go…or write a blog about them!

Happy almost Valentines Day everyone!